A high quality griddle is an excellent investment. It should last you for years, generations in fact. My own preference is a professional quality cast iron one. The beauty of a high quality cast iron griddle is that they look fine enough to be taken from the stove or oven straight to the table.
Cast iron griddle’s are usually what I give as wedding or house-warming gifts. I reckon it’s the type of gift that couples appreciate more as the years go on. I remember my own mom pulling out her griddle and telling me how it was a wedding present. She still uses the same one and has been married for over forty years.
We are most familiar with using griddles on top of open flames and in fact, many people associate the griddle on the stove cooking bacon and eggs on a Saturday morning. However, to confine the griddle solely to the pursuit of a tasty culinary breakfast, simply does not do it justice.
After purchasing a cast iron griddle, it is really important to season it properly. Seasoning a griddle time consuming venture, but it really makes all the different to the quality of food that you cook on your grill.
1. The first task is a little heartbreaking, your griddle needs to have the protective wax coating removed. The wax needs to be removed before seasoning can take place. To remove the wax, you should use a scourer with dish soap. When you are finished your pan will have lost it’s shiny new look.
2. Place your wet griddle on top of the stove on a high heat and let it dry. You will see balls of water forming and disappearing. Leave the wet griddle to dry completely on the heat for around fifteen minutes.
3. Allow the griddle to cool down and then pour a thin layer of oil over it, making sure that the griddle is completely covered in oil.
4. Dry the griddle with a paper towel until you feel as if you have removed all of the oil. There will be a very thin coat left on, this will be perfect.
5. Place griddle in oven (top shelf) on a high heat (200 Celsius). After 1 hour turn off the heat and leave to cool for two more hours.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 several times, until the griddle is black in colour.
7. With use , the pan will develop a high sheen. Water, a little soap and a light scouring will be enough to clean it your cast iron griddle. Never, ever put cast iron in the dishwasher.
One of the benefits of a quality cast iron griddle pan is that it can be used on all types of stove top including ceramic, gas, electric, and even induction as well as. Less well known is that the griddle can also be used successfully in the oven and under the grill.
It might seem a little odd to use a griddle in an oven, but it is actually an incredibly useful way of finishing off and keeping warm anything that has been made on the griddle.
The oven results in a more even distribution of heat than the open flame on the stove, and so it is an excellent way to finish off your meats, ensuring that they don’t stick to the surface of the griddle. The oven is also more forgiving than the stove so putting it in the oven whilst you potter around the kitchen for the last few minutes of cooking, ensures you have a bit more time before serving your meal, knowing that your meat will still be perfectly warm.
Another wonderful use for griddle cooking is for fish. I love the way griddles cook fish and cooking for a minute on a high flame is enough to sear the fish and produce the professional black lines, before transferring to an oven where the fish can be cooked at a more controlled even temperature. I personally think this makes for perfectly cooked fish. Veg sides can also be cooked this way, with the added bonus that there is only the griddle to clean up afterwards, and a well seasoned griddle should only really need a wipe down after use.
If you were especially enthusiastic about your griddle and were cooking for one, you could eat straight from the griddle and save washing up a plate, or maybe that’s taking things just a little too far!
One of life’s little pleasures is pizza. These days so many families have outdoor pizza ovens which hark back to an ancient type of cooking. What a wonderful idea to combine these two ancient cooking tools, to produce a family favourite.
1 lb Pizza dough (home-made or from your local deli)
2 jars of pre-cooked tomato sauce from the grocer's refrigerator case or supermarket.
Six ounces of cheese
1. You should put your pizza oven on in advance of preparing your griddle by coating its surface with extra virgin olive oil.
2. Take a ball of fresh pizza dough and place it on the center of the griddle.
3. Press the dough into a round pizza shape. The dough should be about 1/4" thick.
4. Add the tomato sauce onto the dough surface and spread to coat dough in a thin, even layer.
5. Sprinkle half of the cheese evenly over the base.
6. Add the prosciutto and arugula.
7. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of toppings.
8. Put the griddle into the pre-heated oven
9. Allow the pizza to cook undisturbed at 350-400 degrees for ten minutes, or until cooked.
Enjoy under the stars on a warm summers evening with a chilled glass of Prosecco.
Please share with your friends, so that they too can benefit fully from their griddle. Let us know your own griddle tips by commenting below and feel free to add a recipe or two.